Throwback Thursday – ep 27 The “Saw” Franchise

For James Wan, director, in the beginning was Saw. This first grisly, mind-bending thriller/horror film didn’t gross all that much but it spawned many many sequels making the franchise one of the most successful in the horror genre. In this podcast, we discuss the entire Saw franchise in detail, brain crunching traps included. Don’t miss this episode. Below are the stats on the film that started it all.


One of the features of Saw that truly sets it apart is the challenges and traps that are part of the game. It’s no fun, make no mistake, to somehow avoid a bear trap crushing your skull and that’s just one of the grisly inventions in the film. But there is a battle of intellect going on here. Saw says those who do not appreciate life don’t deserve life. Interesting. I wonder how we would fare?

Ready? Do you want to play a game?

We hope you enjoy the podcast.

Darren’s Wednesday Trip into World Cinema – Norway – Troll Hunter (2010)

In my own feature on Talking Stars, I have decided to go around the world and search for the films people are missing, I will be trying to cover as many different country with this feature, so let’s fasten our seat belts, board the plane and set sail to worlds unknown.

After spending my week in Sweden and escaping the hands of the evil Hypnotist, I headed just across the border to Norway, in Norway I got to team up with a documentary film crew that were joining forces with a lone hunter claiming he hunts down Trolls in the countryside. With camera in hand I know this week is going to be very interesting for myself.

Troll Hunter



Short SaleYou want to see a fun found footage film that isn’t just screaming at the camera? Well you need to look no further, as this mockumentary style film explores the unknown threat in the Norwegian countryside. We have a unique look at different types of trolls that you will remember all of the sequences with them. This also comes from director Andre Ovredal who bought us the exceptional Autopsy of Jane Doe this year.

Let me know what you think of Troll Hunter.

I will be setting back out to see next week as I head off to Iceland for my latest adventure.

Damien’s Netflix Pick – Tropic Thunder (2008)

You don’t have to be a fan of war movies to get the humor here, but it helps! You’ve need seen one quite like this. It features a star studded cast including Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. It’s actors pretending to be in a movie pretending to be about Vietnam. The jokes are funny because they’re taboo. Don’t miss this one. It’s streaming now on Netflix.

Tropic Thunder

Please leave me a comment with your impressions or just to let me know if you want to see it! I’d love to start a dialog in this film with you.

“Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.” -IMDB


Ben Stiller Tugg Speedman – Hot LZ
Jack Black Jeff Portnoy – Hot LZ
Robert Downey Jr. Kirk Lazarus
Jeff Kahn Snooty Waiter – Fatties Trailer

Directed by

Ben Stiller

Written by

Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller

Other Info

Action, Comedy
Wed 13 Aug 2008 UTC
IMDB Rating: 7.0

A – Z Challenge – Thriller – A – Alfred Hitchcock

A – Z Challenge – Thriller – A – Alfred Hitchcock

Every Sunday between Damien, Kira and myself we are going through the alphabet and select anything from a Film, Director, Character, Scene, Location, Item from a film or Reasons Thrillers Exist.

For this letter, I got A

My Pick

Alfred Hitchcock

ReasonLet me start with four film titles, Psycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, North by Northwest. When you see just those four films you will know how to make a thriller that hasn’t dated, never stops keeping you guessing and films people still talk about today over 50 years later. Alfred Hitchcock could easily be considered the greatest thriller directors, often imitated never emulated.

Diving into other thrillers he directed that aren’t too bad either, we have Torn Curtain, The Birds, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rope and Dial M for Murder. Seeing all these films you could easily have a full education in how to make a thriller from the greatest master in film thriller directing.

Come back next Sunday to see what Damien picks for his choice for B.

Talking Stars Episode 54 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Spoilers will come up during this show. Today we look into the latest Marvel offering The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, did this sequel come off or will it just fall into the standard sloppy sequel?

Darren – Movie Reviews 101


Damien – Riley on Film
Becky – Film Music Central
Renate – Popcorn & Film


Actor Focus

Today marks the release of our first Actor Focus post, and to kick things off, we’re going to be taking a look at Nicole Kidman. With her new film, The Beguiled, coming out soon, it seemed only right for us lot from Talking Stars to share our thoughts on some of her work.


My first pick is the HBO miniseries that Kidman recently starred in, Big Little Lies. I watched the first episode not expecting to like the show, but was immediately sucked in by the wonderful storytelling and mystery surrounding the characters. Kidman gave us all a brilliant performance as Celeste Wright, with a number of people now calling for her to be nominated for an Emmy for her role. It was a gripping show to watch, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.
Continue reading “Actor Focus”

Darren’s Cinema Pick of the Week – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Darren’s Cinema Pick of the Week

Each week new movies come out, each week I seem to see at least one film at the cinema thanks to my Odeon Limitless Card (£17.99 a month to see as many as I want a month). Sometimes I do regret my choice but other times I find myself surprised.

Let’s see what the pick of this week will be.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

PlotRobbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.

Will I like it? Well, I haven’t heard the best of things about this film but if I watch to see just how bad it could be maybe I will enjoy.

Throwback Thursday – reblog of our episode on Suicide Squad and The Lesson

This appeared first as: Talking Stars Podcast S01 E10: ‘The Lesson’ And ‘Suicide Squad’

Hi all. I’m pleased to bring you this encore podcast of 2 movies with distinct weirdness and gore. Well, one has gore. I hope you enjoy this throwback! -Damien

*This episode contains spoilers.

In this, our 10th episode of the podcast, we, Darren and Damien, review two films: Suicide Squad is the mega high budget action film of the Summer and The Lesson is a low budget, independent horror film from last year. Listen to the podcast and see how they measure up.

Starring: Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Jesse Eisenberg, Viola Davis, Jay Hernandez
Genres: Action
Directed By: David Ayer
Studio: Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating

The Lesson (2015)
Cast: Robert Hands as Mr. Gale
Evan Bendall as Fin
Michaela Prchalová as Mia
Directed by: Ruth Platt
Written by: Ruth Platt
Other Info
Horror, Thriller
Unrated Contains scenes of extreme violence.
1h 37min

Dear Listeners,

We’re curious what you think of these films and our podcast. Do leave us a comment if you have the time. As always, if you would like to be on the show or you have a film, actor, or genre you’d like to see us cover, leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you promptly.

If you want to contact us you can do so at:

Damien Riley
Riley Central –
Twitter – @rileyonfilm
Email –

Darren Lucas
Movie Reviews 101 –
Twitter – @newguyreview101
Facebook –

Darren’s Wednesday Trip into World Cinema – Sweden – The Hypnotist (2012)

In my own feature on Talking Stars, I have decided to go around the world and search for the films people are missing, I will be trying to cover as many different country with this feature, so let’s fasten our seat belts, board the plane and set sail to worlds unknown.

With our latest guest coming from Sweden I felt it would only be the correct choice to start my world adventure just across the North Sea in Sweden.

The Hypnotist

GenreCrime – Thriller


Short SaleOff the back of the brilliant ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ trilogy comes another suspenseful crime thriller adapted from a novel, we have director Lasse Hallstrom (known for Hachti, Cider House Rules, Chocolat and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) as well as director most of the ABBA videos. The film itself follows a detective working with a famous psychologist to solve the case of a missing person with the only witnesses being a traumatized young boy.

Let me know what you think of The Hypnotist

Next week I plan on going on the short trip to Norway, any prediction or suggestions are welcome.

Creep (2014) – Tune in Netflix Tuesday

This post appeared first on

Hey there! Damien from Talking Stars here once again with another post from my Tune in Netflix Tuesday series! This film is now streaming on Netflix.

“Take the knife, and don’t be afraid to murder with it.” -Joseph

The “found footage” genre strikes again. This time we have a psychotic in our face most the movie. The movie scares because it is plausible. While we may not be able to divine his intentions, the “creep” does everything in a way that is believable, possible. When blood is shed, we don’t question the possibility.

Creep (2015)
Patrick Brice

as Aaron

Mark Duplass

as Joseph

Directed by
Patrick Brice
Written by
Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Other Info

Drama, Horror
Rated R
1h 17min

This movie could really happen. The plot is a twenty something dude answers an ad for a job filming another dude. The work is one day and it pays $1,000 cash. I imagine a lot of people could use the money and would therefore show up for an interview. Aaron, played by Patrick Brice, does just that. When he gets to the address, he finds a vacation cabin of sorts, not fully secluded. He soon finds out the motives of the employer and much more than just to film him.

Creep becomes a character study in boundaries in a similar way to “The Cable Guy” where Jim Carrey was the Creep. The difference is, this film is horror. Aaron, played by the actual director of the film, misses several opportunities to escape. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to hurt the Creep’s feeling. Would you rather hurt someone’s feelings or be killed? I think the answer is pretty obvious. At the same time, we humans hate confrontation and so Aaron, as a human, avoids confrontation and plays along.

I’ve seen Mark Duplass in several movies, my favorite being “The One I Love.” He’s a great actor and his ability to shoot lines like a firehose is shown in this film. He is clearly disturbed but the main character Aaron wants to find out just how much. Ultimately, as Aaron tries to get away, the plot becomes a hunt. I enjoyed the thriller aspect of this film but I wondered a lot why it was tagged horror. There were no dismemberments or zombies. It was just Aaron and Joseph talking through mountains of dialog (most Joseph’s)

I’m really not to keen on the found footage genre. Still, this movie used it well. Everything made sense, that it could have happened and been edited together. It lost a point for not being innovative. How many times have we seen the stalker befriend and kidnap someone? It lost another point for calling itself horror. There is a scene or two you could describe as such, but I think it’s better archived as a draa. Fr those reasons I gave it a 3/5. I recommend it if you can’t find anything else to watch. Trust me, there are plenty of movies I wouldn’t recommend as such, this is a good movie.